What are the eligibility requirements for the program?
The students need to be at least five years old to join Junior First Lego League and at least 9 years old to join First Lego League. Basic writing and reading skills are and a can do attitude are essential. If they are less than five, consider the summer camp as a stepping stone into robotics.
How is the two hour class structured?
The first 10 minutes of the class are for setup and discussion of the plan and pending tasks
The next 30 minutes are spent on a team activity which practices the core values
The next 35 minutes are spent on the robot design, engineering and programming
The last 10 minutes is used to recap everything, clean up and wrap up the sessions
While this is an effective framework, we are always flexible and accommodating to the needs of the season!
How is the FLL challenge broken down?
33.3% Core Values
33.3% Robot Game
How are FLL core values judged?
Fll students are given a spontaneous team activity to complete within 5 minutes. Judges watch how they plan, interact and achieve the set objective. Please refer to detailed rubrics here:
How long is the season?
The official FLL season is from August through December or February if we qualify and the junior FLL season is from August to March.
How many sessions per season?
There will be anywhere between 12 to 18 sessions per season. If a team qualifies regional tournaments, there will be about 6 more. At the beginning of the season it is very difficult to predict exactly how many hours because this is dependent upon the student competency and workload. We usually don’t have class during breaks and long weekends.
Are there any promotions or discounts?
Our team takes pride in being one of the first in Dallas, Texas to introduce robotics to schools and home-schoolers for affordable rates. The per session fee is kept at a very minimum rate. However, if the entire course fee is paid upfront we can offer a discount. We may throw in some bonus sessions, free training and workshops for those that registered early. So watch out for those!
What does the registration cost include?
The registration fee includes a personalized Tshirt or costume, event registration and team registration. This can change from year to year. The registration fee is $30 for existing students and $35 for new comers.
Are the events competitive?
We try to teach the children the spirit of friendly coopetition. Just like in real life, you do have competitors but we try to help and work together with them instead of against them resulting in an “We are all winners” attitude.
What if my child can’t make it to an event?
Unfortunately, your child will miss out on an extremely fulfilling learning opportunity in which participate and showcase their hard work to a group of industry professionals and expert. They will not be able to meet and mingle with other students of their age who have been working on the same challenge. We highly encourage you to make arrangements to have your child at the event and any qualifying events that follow
Are the coaches qualified?
Yes, both lead coaches hold degrees in technology related areas and have several years of experience working with children. One of them is a Software Architect in the digital marketing practice with a team of software engineers while the other was a middle school science teacher for many years. Our teacher aides are equally passionate about robotics and love working with kids. FIRST also requires all coaches and mentors to be background checked.
Furthermore, the coaches have experience leading many robotics teams in the past, most of which have been award winning and advancing teams!
As parents, how can we help?
We always need help in a number of areas. You can offer to take charge of a tasks such as poster-board preparation, tshirt coordination and practicing with your child at home. You can also talk to schools about starting a robotics programs. You can work with other parents to carpool and to arrange transport for some events that may be quite far away. Your business can sponsor our teams. Parent engineers and professionals are welcome to be a part of our team of mentors. You can chaperone for events. We also encourage you to give us your feedback and are always looking to improve.
What happens if we miss a few sessions
If you miss a session doe to a valid reason you must attend a makeup session. We will inform you of the dates during which we have make-up sessions. Please try to avoid missing them because it is often hard to work around everyone’s schedule to fit in makeup sessions and your child can fall behind and feel lost at their next session.
Where is the judging rubrics for the FLL qualifier?
The structured FLL judging rubrics can be found here: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/fll/judging-rubrics
Is my child just building and building robots?
Definitely not! Your child is learning to work as part of a team, they are researching real world problems, coming up with creative robotic solutions and building models of those. We teach them to think critically and ask questions. They are also learning to creatively present their ideas effectively to an audience, public speak and also training to be future leaders practising gracious professionalism and soft skills. They are supposed to both know and live by the core values. We teach them the spirit of friendly coopetition. Lego engineering and programming are a big part of it, but certainly not the only one.
Can parents be present during judging sessions?
For FLL, judging happens between the students and judges only. No adult coaches, mentors or parents are allowed to be present. Only the FLL robot game takes place in front of an audience. For Jr FLL, parents and coaches are highly encouraged not to interfere with the judging process or to be around the team when being judged. They want students to be independent. Talking to the coach or prompting students can result in teams being disqualified.
What should I send with my child?
We provide everything they need. FLL students can bring their laptops or tablets if they feel more comfortable using their own electronic devices.
Summer Camp FAQs
Why is the summer program critical?
Summer is when we get to prepare our students with a head start into the season. It gives them a chance to explore their talents, be kicked out of their comfort zone, try new things, experiment and be intrigued. Once the season starts in August, we will be focused on the season’s challenge and will not have the opportunity or time to discover new things and diversify.
Is the summer camp the same as the season?
No, the summer camp covers much more! We give the students plenty of time to experiment and explore at their own pace. Creativity is inspired through arts and crafts projects and activities. Team building and soft skills are also parted through a number of soft skill activities besides just robotics.
What is the duration of the summer camp?
The summer camp goes on for two months from the first week of june to around the first week of august. There are approximately 16 sessions in all.
What is covered in the summer camp?
The summer camp features robotics and preps students for the FIRST Lego League competition and the Junior FIRST Lego league. Apart from robotics the summer camp provides opportunity for students to enhance their team working and leadership skills as well as inspire them to be creative with various art projects and DIYs related to STEM. Our programs have been highly reviewed by participating families.
Our first week is a meet and greet week. We present ideas and objectives for the students to achieve. We give them simple tasks and problems to be solved as a team. Once they pass the forming stage we let the children take on to what they enjoy the most. Some will lean more towards building and engineering, while others will enjoy programming. We try to push students out of their comfort zones, having them try everything out at first. We do not focus on specializing in the summer camp and encourage everyone to be handsome with everything. Many students love and enjoy our approach to learning by doing. They are always full of ideas and never seize to surprise us. Summer is the time for fun and learning happens even without them realizing it!